Why are Shmups so Unpopular?

July 5, 2010

My first contribution to Continue is this updated version of an article I wrote back in 2008. You can look forward to more features and reviews of shmups from me in the future – among other things!

I think it’s fair to say that 2D scrolling shoot ’em ups, or “shmups”, don’t sell nearly as well as they used to.  Back in the days when arcades were the ultimate hang-out spot and the Super Nintendo’s Mode7 effects were impressive, it seemed like every game was either a platformer or a shmup.  Nowadays, mainstream reviewers and gamers alike seem thoroughly disinterested in the genre.  What the heck happened?

Dodonpachi Daioujou Read the rest of this entry »

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Getting your Money’s Worth: Rock Band

May 27, 2009

Ever tried to play drums on rock band? If you liked it and thought easy wasn’t too bad… well neither was medium – but, when hard and expert came along you really needed to start practicing. The practice feature option of slowing the song down made that really easy too. Did you ever think that the difficulty and configuration of the drums in rock band was actually the same as real drums? I know every guitarist hates guitar hero because people think they have talent for the real guitar when they can five-star expert, but it would seem that rock band proves the (freaking sweet!) exception.
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What On Earth Happened to Shenmue?

December 20, 2008

Ryo Hazuki

Ryo Hazuki

Anyone who has played the Shenmue games knows they are something extraordinary. Shenmue I and II both dazzled players with an entrancing storyline, leaving players wanting more. This is why it came as a shock to so many that a Shenmue III is apparently not in the works. How could this happen to such a great franchise?

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Duck Hunt’s Fatal Flaw – It isn’t the dog. It’s the sound.

December 17, 2008

It isn't really his fault.

It isn't really his fault.

By simply making the duration of the success song less then the duration of the failure sound, Nintendo made it more important not to miss then to actually shoot the ducks. It’s the dog’s sound and length actually breaks the gamer’s concentration, not the dog itself.

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